What a year it’s been for Bungie. The base Destiny 2 game was greeted with triumph and praise by the majority of critics. However over time that slowly changed and the release of Curse of Osiris saw missed opportunities for Bungie. Now we have Warmind, as well as a pretty big quality of life update, and fans are dying for content good enough to re-engage them. Have Bungie been able to deliver or will we have to wait until the big September update to be appeased?
While the quality of life update is a big deal for Destiny 2, I’m actually going to avoid talking about it too much as that is a separate, free update which does not require the Warmind DLC.
Let’s talk about Ana Bray. The infamous Hunter makes her first appearance in the Destiny universe despite being talked about in the lore repeatedly. She is your guide as you return to Mars for the first time since the original Destiny. After the Traveller’s light was spread across the solar system, Rasputin has re-awoken and the Hive are sniffing around. It’s our job to stop the hive and the worm god, Xol. The story is fine and it’s a short campaign as was Curse of Osiris, but there are things that make these missions slightly different to one’s I’ve experienced before, also Xol as a boss is quite refreshing albeit still pretty easy. The scale of the final fight in pretty impressive but there is a missed opportunity to make this a even grander boss battle. Other than that, from a story point of view, there is nothing groundbreaking unfortunately. However it is a nice content bump until we get the big stuff in September.
Escalation Protocol is the new PvE activity that unlocks once you have finished the Warmind campaign. Bungie talked about how they wanted to make it challenging for guardians and that it is an end game activity. I have tried it out several times whilst still fairly low level and at most have been able to get past one full wave while with about 5 or 6 other guardians. It is clear this is meant as a long term mode. Some of the best loot is locked behind this mode so it is great to see Bungie putting loot worth grinding for behind a tough PvE game mode. I will be attempting it tirelessly to get the full armour set and all the weapons available.
My favourite things about Warmind are the new secrets and collectables. There are 45 Data Fragments, each containing a piece of lore, for you to collect around the Mars map. I won’t spoil what you get when they are all collected but there are some cool things to get when you do put in the grind to explore and find them all. There are also 40 Sleeper Nodes which require unlocking providing another reason to explore and adventure around Mars once the campaign has finished. This is something we had seen in Destiny 1 previously and had been missing from D2 for the last 8 months. On top of all of the above, we have new and returning exotics to discover! Including old classics like the Suros Regime and new exotics like Destiny 2’s first exotic sword!
On it’s own Warmind is not a huge update, but I would argue it is worth the cost of a stand alone expansion. The quality of life update has also significantly improved the game bringing ranked and private PvP games, re-worked exotics and exotic masterworks plus even more smaller changes like being able to dismantle items directly out of your Postmaster and an emote wheel! This alone warrants a look back at Destiny 2 in my opinion.
As we have seen before, only time will tell how all of the above holds up but after an initial 10 hours of play and a completed campaign I can safely say I’ve enjoyed, albeit with re-aligned expectations, what I have put into the expansion so far. Bungie are taking the right steps to make Destiny 2 a game you constantly return to and hopefully the September update continues that trend and delivered the larger changes we are still waiting on.